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Overdrive Staff | January 01, 2012

NET NEW TRAILER orders in October rose to the highest level since May, ACT Research said. Seasonally adjusted, October’s backlog rose 1.5 percent month over month. Also, reported sales of used Classes 3-8 trucks declined in October, after rising in September. Scarce inventory and sustained demand may be the cause, the firm said.



Truck-related deaths rose in 2010

While overall highway deaths in 2010 were at the lowest level since 1949, truck-related fatalities increased for the first time in three years, the U.S. Transportation Department announced.

Truck-involved deaths rose 8.7 percent in 2010 from 2009 to 3,675, including drivers and passengers. Truck driver fatalities increased 6 percent to 529, with 64 percent of those deaths involving single-vehicle crashes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The number of truck drivers killed in multi-vehicle crashes also increased 16 percent.

Injuries from truck-related crashes rose 12 percent in 2010 from the previous year.

The American Trucking Associations pointed out that from 1999 through 2009, truck-related fatalities declined 35 percent while injuries dropped 48 percent.

The highway death count of 32,885 occurred even as American drivers traveled nearly 46 billion more miles during the year, an increase of 1.6 percent over 2009. The fatality rate of 1.10 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2010 was the lowest on record.

Fatalities declined in most categories in 2010. New data also show an estimated 3,092 fatalities in distraction-affected crashes in 2010.

— Staff reports



SHORT HAULS

FREIGHT HAULING as measured by the American Trucking Associations’ seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.5 percent in October from September. Compared with October 2010, adjusted tonnage was up 5.7 percent.

SPOT MARKET FREIGHT measured by TransCore’s North American Freight Index increased 39 percent in October compared with October 2010. This was the highest year-over-year volume since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that drove spot market demand to record levels in 2005. Compared with September, spot market freight volume slipped 3.7 percent, reflecting normal seasonality.

SURFACE TRADE between the United States and Canada and Mexico increased 14 percent in September from a year ago to $77.7 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.



Feds change distracted driving measurement

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Dec. 8 unveiled a new measure of fatalities related to distracted driving called “distraction-affected crashes.”

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